Married with squibs

The same-sex marriage survey was a confirmation of a failed politics. It was a confirmation of the absence of conviction in our political leadership, of the brew of cowardice and cynicism that passes for governance in this country.

The survey began with a call to suspend anti-discrimination law and ended with links between neo-Nazis and the “No” case. It forced same-sex couples to defend their relationships and beg for their rights. It licensed a new wave of homophobia, allowed men to be called faggots in the streets, to be likened to paedophiles and linked to bestiality. It demonised queer teenagers and those living with gender dysphoria. It reopened debate on conversion therapy. It saw hate scrawled on walls and in the sky.

It did all this, so far, for a dozen senators who could not bring themselves to vote for equality. It is worth recording these names, if only to show how few people it takes to create a national farce. They were as follows:


Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Eric Abetz

Chris Ketter

Fraser Anning

Cory Bernardi

John Williams

Helen Polley

Lucy Gichuhi

Brian Burston

Matt Canavan

Slade Brockman

Barry O’Sullivan


There were others who did not vote. Some were on leave or overseas. Others were not available. Others still were craven or duplicitous or both. After a hell was made for queer people, they couldn’t themselves be bothered to acquit their duty. They were:


Michaelia Cash

David Fawcett

James McGrath

Zed Seselja

Arthur Sinodinos

Bridget McKenzie

Jacinta Collins

Sam Dastyari

Pat Dodson

Don Farrell

Alex Gallacher

Katy Gallagher

Gavin Marshall

Deborah O’Neill

Glenn Sterle

Peter Georgiou

Pauline Hanson


These names are a reminder of a broken politics. They make you wonder who it is these people think they represent.


Update: Pat Dodson was absent on Sorry Business. 

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Dec 2, 2017 as "Married with squibs".

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